Open Letter to our Community

San Francisco, CA – The recent election has put into stark relief the political and cultural gulf between Americans and engendered numerous challenges for our community, including a disturbing escalation of hateful rhetoric, fear among many about threats to our civil rights and liberties, and a growing uncertainty about the future. We wish to note upfront that we categorically reject all bigotry, hate speech, and anti-Semitism.

Over the past few years, the Federation has focused increasingly on our role as a convener, bringing together partners to identify challenges and to work jointly to address them. Our diverse community includes both those who support and those who are profoundly worried about the direction in which the country is moving. Today, the importance of our solemn responsibility to maintain Klal Yisrael (unity in our community) is manifest and pronounced.

The Jewish community is heterogeneous and comprised of people who hold differing views quite passionately, and it is not immune to the political rancor engulfing the broader American society. The Federation's mission is to provide a big tent that welcomes all Jews, regardless of opinion, background, or practice, so that we can have a strong, thriving, and inclusive Jewish community.

We are not an advocacy organization and, by design, do not engage in politics. However, we provide significant support to our partner, the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), a public affairs organization with the specific mandate to represent our Jewish community in matters of politics, public policy, and government. It is the role of our JCRC, one of the most well regarded Jewish advocacy organizations in the country, to engage in political advocacy. We refer you to their statement on recent events.

While we recognize the limitations of our mandate with respect to political matters, our values compel us to emphasize at this divisive time that we hold dear the guarantees laid down in the United States Constitution protecting the inalienable rights and liberties of all Americans, and that we condemn all expressions of hate.

Our community is united by the belief in tikkun olam – repairing the world. So important is this concept that it is included in the Aleinu, the blessing recited at the end of our three daily prayer services. Repairing the world requires us to come together and heal the wounds in our community, and this means showing respect for ALL of our fellow human beings – whatever their age, race, culture, nationality, immigration status, income, gender, religion, sexuality, or political views – and insisting that our society do the same. We will continue to condemn bigotry and hate speech in all forms, and we will continue to demand equality for all, just as we have since we were founded 106 years ago.

Danny Grossman                    Richard Fiedotin
Chief Executive Officer          Board Chair

The Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund connects people of all ages, backgrounds, and perspectives to the power of the Jewish community to improve the world. We partner with donors, organizations, and foundations to address pressing issues facing our community, and develop innovative strategies that result in deep and lasting impact locally, in Israel, and around the world. Learn more at

For immediate release

November 18, 2016